Sony plans to release a redesigned version of its PlayStation Portable (PSP) handheld game system in the autumn. The new PSP, announced at the E3 conference, is 33 percent lighter and 19 percent slimmer than the original PSP model, which was first released in 2005. It also contains a faster Universal Media Disc (UMD) drive, used to load games and some movies, and features improved battery life.

As well as the slimmer design, which was rumoured last month (See: Slim PSP in the works at Sony), the new PSP also answers one of the longest-standing criticisms of the portable console since its introduction: The new slim PSP will feature video output capabilities, so its content can be viewed on a television. The system will be able to output full standard definition video on any progressive scan TV.

Sony plans to ship the unit this September in North America in Piano Black in its ‘Core Pack’. It will also be available Ice Silver, bundled with the game Daxter, a 1GB Memory Stick Duo flash memory storage card and the ‘Family Guy Freakin' Sweet Collection’ UMD video for $199.99 (£100).

Also available will be a special limited edition white PSP with Darth Vader silkscreened on the back that will come bundled with Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade, also for $199.99, coming in October.

Sony’s PSP has vied for the hearts and minds of mobile gamers since its introduction, carving out a niche for itself but unable to take away the spotlight from Nintendo's dominant Nintendo DS system.